I think that it can be explained in a variety of ways.
- I think it is “anger turned inward”. A resentment and hatred towards the self. Self loathing, inability to love oneself or see one’s worth.
- hopelessness in living a fulfilled life.
- After that, I will try and explain what the root could be by examining my life… it is fairly convoluted.
Depression = feeling hopeless, that you always were, and always will be unable to live up to the standards, ideals, the life that you want or feel you need… and that it will never change. More than feeling this, BEING it.
The DSM-V states:
The classic condition, “Major depressive disorder” is characterized by discrete episodes of at least 2 week’s by a list of symptoms and signs that must be present in order for the diagnosis to be made.
Notable ones include:
-Loss of pleasure in nearly all activities.
-significant Weight gain or loss (unintentional).
-lowered cognitive function.
-Feelings of worthlessness
-Marked diminished ability to decide, think, concentrate.
-Fatigue nearly all day long. Loss of energy.
I think the root is feeling unhappy for whatever reason matters most to you.
A Depressive Episode when I was 16:
I was a bright student, usually high achieving. One year, all of a sudden (in challenging classes) I started doing poorly.
I had just finished gr. 9 and went to a very challenging I.B. school. I left all my friends, some of which I went to school with for ten years.
My struggles there struck my core. I had no idea why I was doing poorly in some quantitative courses.
This was mainly due to task management and it caused me severe anxiety ( (ADHD unknown at that time to me). That plus obesity, and difficulty forging relationships were my first causes of depression.
It has been a while (thankfully) since I had major depression. I have ADHD and that caused a host of other issues, especially when left untreated for 20 plus years.
A Major Depressive Episode that occurred about 4 years after the first:
I felt my life was ruined beyond repair.Due to the mess ups, the school issues, my intelligence being wasted, time lost due to trying to help friends that used me, worsened and possibly destroyed academic standing, hurting those around me, not really knowing why, etc, etc.
I was depressed or at least dysthymic, much of 16-25 or so for these reasons:
-My untreated ADHD and trying to treat what I thought was the “main issue”, anxiety, plus my destructive habits worsening caused a lot of pain.
-Obesity, lonliness. Resolved weight by 18. For most part.
-Underperforming in school (ADHD)
-Worsened judgment on meds for anxiety, which did not allow me to clearly see that some of my “friends” were sociopaths.
-A crisis that resulted from that last point.
– 4 years to correct the majority of that and people not understanding and thinking that I didn’t try or brought it all on myself.
-In sum: Untreated ADHD, shyness, self destruction, habits, isolation were my causes (and the resulting anxiety et al).
Please Note: I am not a doctor, I just play one to myself.
I believe, the answer is hopelessness. It is far more than “feeling upset, down, blue”. Life needs change. Life is change. Depression is the deep-seated belief that one’s life (your life!!!) simply cannot change for the better.
I think that fear (whether it be fear of something intangible like “failure” or something like being unaccepted) can cause anxiety disorders. They are deeply ingrained in childhood reactions. And can manifest in addiction, acting out, and isolation.
I believe that my horrible anxiety became full blown major depression… when what I was anxious about became “the reality”.
For instance, if one has a fear of failure and this challenges their self-image and what they perceive to be their identity, then acts in ways to make this happen (or it just happens), then that belief will strengthen. If an event is so powerful (a “major failing”, then that anxiety which makes someone have countless “what-if’s” in their mind at all times… becomes more of a “I’m screwed. It will never get better. My life is ruined.”
In general, I believe strong negative challenges to a person’s self-concept and identity that are very hard to see out of — become depression.
Anxiety can become depression as well.